Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Assassins, directed by Ryan White (Ask Dr. Ruth, The Keepers, The Case Against 8). Equal parts true crime and global spy thriller, the documentary chronicles the gripping account of the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of the infamous North Korean leader. Magnolia will release Assassins, which just world-premiered at Sundance to critical and audience acclaim, this year.
In 2017, Kim Jong-nam – the half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un – was assassinated in the bustling departures hall of Malaysia’s international airport. The spectacularly brazen murder happened in broad daylight, filmed entirely by security cameras. Footage showed two young women approaching Jong-nam from behind, covering his eyes with their hands, and pressing VX-the most lethal nerve gas on earth-into his eyes. He stumbled away and was dead within an hour. But if the murder was extreme, the story that came next was even more bizarre: The two women who killed Jong-nam claimed they had simply been hired to pull a video prank and had no idea what they were really doing. The Malaysian government scoffed, arrested and imprisoned the women and put them on trial for murder, facing execution. But was their outlandish story actually the truth? And would anyone believe them? Assassins travels from the sanctums of Pyongyang to the rice fields of Indonesia and Vietnam to the courtrooms of Kuala Lumpur to tell an extraordinary tale of manipulation and subterfuge in the age of social media.
Directed by Ryan White, Assassins was produced by Jessica Hargrave and White. Executive producers are Doug Bock Clark, Dan Cogan, and Geralyn White Dreyfous.